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Ontario's Union for fairness, equality and respect at work.

On March 8, UFCW Canada Local 1006A will join millions of women around the world in observing International Women’s Day.

The day is about standing up for gender equality and empowering change within workplaces and our communities. It is also about raising awareness and celebrating the role women continue to play in building our union and our country.

“On International Women’s Day, we are proud to stand with our sisters who work to strengthen our union, our communities and our country,” said President Wayne Hanley. “We celebrate our sisters’ strength and courage and pledge to work side by side to raise awareness and create an equal and just world for all."

Your union will be participating in a rally/march in downtown Toronto on March 9. The rally will start at 11 a.m. at the OISE Auditorium (252 Bloor St. W).

"IWD is about recognizing women's contributions,” said Anna Alers Alers, a member of the Women Issues Network (WIN) who works at RCSS Thunder Bay. "When we improve the rights of women, we improve the lives of families and communities. We have to recognize rights are not consistent globally and there is still a lot of progress we have to make.”

"It's important to know that we have support in our sisterhood, to empower and uplift each other,” said Tachani Bishop, who works at Loblaws and is a member of WIN. "Advocating for women's rights is important because the scales of equality are never balanced, and what we fought for years ago, we 're still fighting for today."

“This is our opportunity to commemorate the inspiring role of women around the world to secure women’s rights, and raise awareness about ending the gender wage gap,” said Pramie Ramroop, who works at Janes’ Family Foods and is a member of WIN. “We celebrate the many facets of women’s identities and those who came before and those who stand beside us now.” Ramroop will be participating with 1006A in IWD events.

“It’s important to recognize how important women are,” said Lee Anne Carew, who works at Comfort Inn Airport in North Bay. “We need to empower women because although we’ve made much progress there is still so much more we need to fight for.” Carew will be participating in an IWD march in North Bay.

Annie Sundar, who works at RCSS Mississauga and is a member of WIN, will also be participating with the local union.

“We’ve been put on the sidelines for so long and women are just as capable as men and should be treated as such,” said Sundar.

For Diane Wilmot, who works at No Frills and is a member of WIN, said she is particularly concerned about ongoing violence and harassment against women.

“We have to do what we can to raise awareness so women will be able to walk and go out without fear of being harassed."

The history of the International Women’s Day goes back to 1911, when the first women’s day was observed in Europe. In 1977, the United Nations officially proclaimed March 8 as IWD.

Today, our struggle continues as women continue to face numerous challenge.

These include:

  • The Gender Wage Gap. Ontario women earn on average 30% less than men. The gap is greater for women who are racialized, aboriginal, and differently abled.
  • Under-representation of women in politics. Even though women make up 50% of the population, they only hold 25% of seats in the house of commons. In Ontario, women are drastically underrepresented at 33 % in Doug Ford’s cabinet.
  • Gender-based violence affecting women and children. According to Government of Canada, 79% of police reported intimate partner violence is against women and that women were victims of intimate partner homicide at a rate four times greater than men.